Stage 1: Explore the Problem
Before you jump right to a solution, you need to think broadly about the social problem and what you ultimately want to do. When you expand your view on a social problem, you will be more open to identifying the most effective points for impact.
Take a look around and learn from what’s already happening. Research the problem. Talk with experts who have a bird’s eye view, as well as people who are working directly on the problem or indirectly in the space around it.
As you discover more, you may see areas of opportunity to apply what you’ve learned when you develop an innovative solution or adapt a proven solution in a new context.
Key areas of focus
- Problem exploration
- Landscape research and stakeholder mapping
- Systems change
Key questions to ask
- Who is impacted by the problem?
- What is the scope of the problem?
- What are the root causes of the problem?
- How many people/factors are contributing to the problem?
- Who else is working in this space, and what can I learn from them?
- Where/how will I have the greatest chance of making an impact?